Casino In Natchez Closed Due To Flooding

Published on: April 14, 2008 

The state of Mississippi is once again feeling the effects of Mother Nature and the moodiness of the river.  And the casinos that line the Mississippi are still suffering three years after Hurricane Katrina.  In the latest round of Mother Nature versus businesses in the area, another casino on the river has had to shut down.

The Isle of Capri Casino at Natchez was closed in a precautionary measure in the hopes of combating the rising waters of the Mississippi.  Torrential rains have been hitting the area hard and the Missouri and Illinois rivers are rising dangerously, causing floodwaters to race towards the Mississippi.  Natchez officials and the casino’s management agreed to shutdown the floating casino and it was made immediate when the city engineers decided to close the dock where the boat is currently moored.

It is not expected to see the waters of the river crest until later in the week, although the St. Louis area is experiencing more rain.  The rain is causing more flooding and the city agrees that the casino will not reopen until they recede.  Containment of the river’s water is not a possibility as they already rose too far.  Management has already contacted their insurance carriers to make sure any damage is covered and that they have enough operating capitol to close the business.  Employees have been told that they will be paid even though the closure is going to cause an economic hardship on both entities involved.

So far, the rains have flooded over a quarter million acres of farmland and many residents have been forced to abandon their homes and seek shelter on higher ground.  When the river crests, it is expected to be the highest ever since 1973 and the third highest level recorded.

Currently the floating casino is docked on D.A. Biglane and there is a stack of sandbags protecting it from the floodwaters.  The city and management is planning on the sandbags being useless.  Designers of the floating casino claim that the mooring system was set to handle the river at 56.5 feet and while there is apprehension about how the casino will ride out the storm, major damage is not expected.  The boat had been moved from its regular position earlier in the week before it was closed and officials are stating that the flooding of the roads is a big concern and part of the reason the casino was closed.

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